Mercer County Medical Malpractice Lawyers
The Mercer County Medical Malpractice Lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, regularly handle medical negligence lawsuits that occur anywhere in Mercer County including Hermitage, Sharon, and Farrell.
Everyone hears about medical malpractice lawsuits, but no one thinks it could happen to them. Unfortunately, we have handled many medical malpractice lawsuits throughout Mercer County and have seen, firsthand, the devastating impact medical malpractice can have on the people we represent.
What is Medical Malpractice?
If you are a resident of Mercer County and believe you or a loved were seriously injured or killed by medical malpractice, the first thing you need to know is what constitutes medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is when your health care provider – hospital, doctor, or nurse – fails to provide proper medical treatment that results in serious harm, injury, or death.
Our Mercer County medical malpractice lawyers have taken many cases to trial where the instruction read by the judge is always the same – “medical negligence consists of a negligent, careless, or unskilled performance by a physician, nurse or hospital of the duties imposed on him or her by the professional relationship with the patient.”
Simply put, medical malpractice is when your hospital, doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse was not as careful as they should have been and a serious injury or death results.
If you were injured in Mercer County, including Hermitage, Sharon, and Farrell, due to medical malpractice, you are entitled by law to recover money for your medical bills, lost earnings and all other harms and losses that result from your substandard medical care.
Serving Mercer County, including Farrell Hermitage, Sharon, Greenville, Grove City, Mercer and Sharpsville.
Mercer County Hospitals we have successfully brought suit against include:
- Greenville Regional Hospital
- Horizon Hospital Systems
- Sharon Regional Medical Center Hospital
Which Hospitals in Mercer County will Lupetin & Unatin Handle Malpractice Cases Against?
The medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, can help your or a loved one with a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit against the following hospitals or the healthcare providers they employ:
- AHN Grove City
- Edgewood Surgical Hospital
- Sharon Regional Medical Center
- UPMC Horizon
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
While only a seasoned Mercer County medical malpractice lawyer can tell you if you have a winning medical malpractice case, there are certain “red flags” anyone can spot to know if there was negligent medical care.
After years of handling medical malpractice lawsuits, the attorneys of Lupetin & Unatin, believe that the following medical scenarios are warning signs to look for to know whether a terrible medical outcome was due to medical malpractice:
- Your hospital or doctors admit fault. If your hospital or doctor tells you that a mistake or error happened during your care or that of a loved one, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer immediately. This may seem unlikely, but the medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, have handled cases where doctors told the patient they made a mistake or wrote in the patient’s medical records that a medical error was the cause of a bad outcome.
- You receive a “serious event” letter. In Pennsylvania, hospitals and doctors are required to send you a letter anytime a “serious event” occurs during your medical treatment. A serious event is a medical event that was totally unanticipated or expected that results in a death or serious injury. If you had a bad outcome from medical care and then receive a letter from the hospital about it, you should contact the Mercer County medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin.
- Something shockingly bad happens. If you or a loved one underwent medical care that resulted in a terrible outcome that no one ever would have expected, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer. Here are a few situations we believe are so unusual that their mere occurrence should prompt a review by a medical malpractice lawyer:
- Wrong surgery – if the doctor operates on the wrong body part, or even the wrong patient, it was likely due to medical malpractice.
- Wrong medication – if the doctor or nurse prescribes the wrong medication, wrong dose of medication, or gives medication that was contraindicated by another medication the patient was taking and a severe reaction or injury occurs, it was probably medical malpractice.
- Death or catastrophic injury right after medical care – when a patient seeks treatment from an emergency department or other healthcare provider, is discharged without treatment or prematurely, and then right afterward suffers a major injury or death due to an undiagnosed condition, it was probably due to medical malpractice.
- Unwitnessed death or serious event in the hospital – sadly we have worked on a number of cases where a patient was found dead or near death despite being monitored in a hospital. For example, many patients require telemetry during their hospital admission. While on telemetry the patient’s heart and vital signs are closely monitored so care can be provided at the first sign of trouble. If your loved one dies while on telemetry and no one intervenes to care for them before death, you should suspect medical malpractice.
What are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice?
While there are numerous ways in which medical malpractice can happen, there are several basic categories of medical malpractice that we see at Lupetin & Unatin. The following list of medical malpractice scenarios cover the majority of medical negligence cases that may occur at Mercer County hospitals like UPMC Horizon and Sharon Regional Medical Center:
- Wrong Diagnosis, Missed Diagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis. A recent study found that up to a third of all malpractice claims involved diagnostic mistakes. Misdiagnosis malpractice occurs when your doctor or nurse is not as careful as they should be when assessing a patient for a particular illness or medical condition. When medical malpractice results due to a healthcare provider failing to properly diagnose a patient’s condition, the results for the patient can be devastating.
- Surgical Mistakes and Procedural Errors. Surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and physicians’ assistants have a duty to “do no harm” during your surgery. Unfortunately, patients are often injured or killed during surgery because of medical malpractice. The medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, have seen medical negligence occur in a wide variety of surgery types.The following are some of the more common mistakes our medical malpractice lawyers have filed suit over:
- Operating on the wrong body part.
- Operating on the wrong patient.
- Operations that result in medical instruments and products left inside the patient.
- Failing to identify and protect important anatomy during surgery.
- Failing to recognize and fix injuries that arise during surgery.
- Injuries caused by improper patient positioning during surgery.
- Failing to properly monitor and respond to abnormal vital signs during surgery.
- Communication failures between medical staff that result in avoidable injuries.
- Failing or Refusing to Treat. It is medical malpractice when a doctor or hospital fails or refuses to provide necessary medical care to assess and stabilize a patient. Here are a few examples of failures to treat patients that may amount to negligence:
- Sending a patient home too soon and before they have been stabilized or treated for their medical condition.
- Refusing to evaluate or treat a patient who may need immediate or emergent care. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) – requires hospitals to assess and stabilize any patient who seeks emergency medical treatment regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.
- Failing to order medical tests or obtain additional testing or follow up on abnormal test results.
- Failing to communicate important information about the patient to other doctors or nurses.
- Injuries before, during or immediately after birth. Injuries to the unborn or newborns are often the result of medical malpractice. Obstetrical or birth injury medical malpractice may occur due to:
- Negligent care of mom and baby before the baby is born. Whether it’s a failure to respond to high blood pressure (preeclampsia) or the complications of gestational diabetes, your doctor’s failure to treat mom and baby before birth can have terrible consequences.
- Negligence in the labor process. Doctors and healthcare providers use a fetal heart monitor to make sure that the baby is not improperly deprived of oxygen during the labor and delivery process. Medical malpractice occurs when obstetricians and labor nurses fail to properly respond to non-reassuring fetal heart tones.
- Negligence in the delivery process. Sometimes during delivery, the baby struggles to move through the birth canal and can get stuck. If doctors use the wrong instruments or maneuvers to safely extract the baby, it can lead to terrible physical injuries to the baby’s nervous system, muscles and joints. For example, if your baby suffers a brachial plexus injury (damage to the bundle of nerves the exit the cervical spinal cord and are located in the shoulder region) you should speak with a medical malpractice lawyer because of the possibility that medical negligence was the cause.
- Negligent resuscitation of a newborn. Many babies struggle to breathe when they are born. There are specific steps that pediatricians and delivery nurses must follow to safely and properly resuscitate a baby that does not immediately breath on its own. Failure to follow the neonatal resuscitation guidelines is medical malpractice that can result in brain injuries or even death to the newborn.
- Informed Consent. Unless it is an emergency, your doctor must obtain your informed consent before providing medical care. To make an informed decision, a patient must be informed of all the risks of the medical care or procedure and the alternative options for treatment. If a patient is not fully informed by their doctor, they may have a claim of medical malpractice or battery against their medical provider. Additionally, patients are not required to prove that they would have made a different choice only that the information not given to them would have been a “substantial factor” in their medical decision.
- Hospital and Corporate Negligence. In Pennsylvania, hospitals owe patients a non-delegable duty to a ensure patient safety and well-being while in the hospital. There are four duties a hospital must uphold for the safety of its patients:
- a duty to use reasonable care to maintain a safe and adequate facility and keep its equipment in good working order.
- a duty to hire and keep on staff only competent health-care personnel. For example, hospitals must only grant medical treatment privileges to doctors it has verified can safely provide the medical care in question.
- a duty to safely monitor its staff to make sure they provide safe and adequate care to patients.
- a duty to create, have in place and enforce policies and procedures that help ensure patient safety.
What is the Time Limit for Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
In short, Mercer County residents have two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you wait more than two years to file a medical malpractice action, Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations will likely be time barred as a matter of law from proceeding i.e. your case will be thrown out of court.
There are a couple of exceptions to Pennsylvania’s two-year statute of limitations.
- Minor’s Claims – when a minor is injured by medical malpractice, their statute of limitations does not begin until their 18th birthday. Put another way, any baby, child or teenager injured by medical malpractice has until their 20th birthday to file suit. This is known as the Minors Tolling Statute.
- Late Discovery – under Pennsylvania’s Discovery Rule, the statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice lawsuit does not begin to run until the patient reasonably could have known they were injured, and that the injury was caused by medical malpractice. For example, if a surgical instrument is left in your body after surgery, your statute of limitations does not start to run until the time you later learn of what happened.
How Long Does a Mercer County Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Take to Settle?
When you contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, you can count on us to conduct a full investigation into your case. First, we interview you to learn about what happened. Then we obtain and study the medical record. Next, we investigate the current medical standard of care through careful research of the medicine, current medical literature, and all applicable studies about the care at issue. Finally, we consult with medical experts in the same specialty as the healthcare professionals who may have injured you to confirm whether you have a winnable case. Though we work diligently and efficiently, the pre-suit investigation process takes several months to complete.
Once we file your medical malpractice lawsuit, it can take two or three years to get your case to trial. It takes time to prepare the complaint, compel the defendants to respond to our written questions and requests to produce documents, prepare for and take depositions, and secure all of the necessary expert opinions and reports needed to prove your case. While every case is different, we find that on average, our firm resolves our client’s medical malpractice cases within 1.5 years of filing the lawsuit.
Will You Win your Mercer County Medical Malpractice Case?
When you call our law firm, we go to great lengths to make sure your case is likely to result in a successful outcome. We are extremely selective in the medical malpractices we decide to handle and examine each potential case closely before making a decision. We pore over medical records, conduct hours of research, and speak with leading medical experts to determine help determine whether your case is likely to succeed. Because of how choosy we are, we decline to handle more than 90% of the cases that are brought to our firm. This is the right thing to do because medical malpractice cases are difficult to win, and we never want to create false hope or waste people’s time. If we decide not to handle your case, we will explain why and what we feel are the problems. If, however, the medical malpractice firm of Lupetin & Unatin, decides to handle your case, you should rest assured that we believe in your case, and we believe you can and should win.
Does Lupetin & Unatin Have a Proven Track Record of Medical Malpractice Success?
Yes, we do. Over the past several years the medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, have secured some of the largest medical malpractice settlements and jury verdicts in the state of Pennsylvania. For example, in 2020, attorneys Brendan Lupetin and Greg Unatin, obtained the largest medical malpractice jury verdict in the state of Pennsylvania that year.
We routinely settle significant medical malpractice cases with all of the major healthcare systems in Mercer County, including UPMC and Allegheny Health Network. UPMC and AHN do not settle with us and our clients out of the goodness of their hearts. They settle with us because we handle strong cases, that we work up tirelessly, and because they know that our medical malpractice lawyers have a track record of taking cases to trial and winning when settlements were too low or not offered.
Picking a medical malpractice law firm to investigate and handle your claim is a big decision. There are a lot of personal injury law firms out there but only a select few that have proven experience handling and winning medical malpractice lawsuits. Medical malpractice cases are complicated and full of land mines. You need a seasoned medical malpractice firm to help navigate pitfalls and guide you to a successful outcome.
We encourage any prospective medical malpractice claimant to do their research. Please read Lupetin & Unatin’s case results page that lists just some of our recent successful settlements and jury verdicts. Please also read some of the Google reviews past clients have posted about working with Lupetin & Unatin.
Is my Mercer County Medical Malpractice Settlement Taxable?
According to the IRS medical malpractice settlements are not taxable:
“If you receive a settlement for personal physical injuries or physical sickness and did not take an itemized deduction for medical expenses related to the injury or sickness in prior years, the full amount is non-taxable. Do not include the settlement proceeds in your income. The proceeds you receive for emotional distress or mental anguish originating from a personal physical injury or physical sickness are treated the same as proceeds received for Personal physical injuries or physical sickness above.”
How much does it cost to consult with Lupetin & Unatin to see if I have a case?
It is 100% free to consult with the Mercer County medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin. There is no fee or costs associated with our investigation into your case, so you have nothing to lose (except peace of mind). If we investigate your case and decline to handle it, you will not owe us anything. Free of charge we will always provide you answers to your questions and explain what happened and why we cannot handle the case.
The only way the medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin get paid is we accept your case and obtain a financial recovery through settlement or jury verdict. If we make a financial recovery for your we receive as payment a percentage of the recovery plus reimbursement of our costs expended to prosecute the claim.
Were you or a loved one the victim of Medical Malpractice? Contact Lupetin & Lupetin, LLC
If you believe that you or a loved was the victim of medical malpractice that resulted in a catastrophic injury, terminal prognosis, or death, you should contact the experienced Mercer County medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, LLC. As one of the premier medical malpractice law firms handling cases in Hermitage, Sharon, and Farrell, we have the experience, reputation, and track-record that you need to obtain the best outcome for your case.